Israeli firm launches pilot in San Diego for eco-friendly shoreline armor

ECOncrete's COASTLOCK Tide Pool Armor could protect shorelines against erosion and storm flooding while also preserving tide pool habitats for marine life.

ECOncrete's eco-friendly COASTALOCK Tide Pool Armor is seen alongside construction equipment. (photo credit: ECONCRETE)
ECOncrete's eco-friendly COASTALOCK Tide Pool Armor is seen alongside construction equipment.
(photo credit: ECONCRETE)
Israeli eco-engineering firm ECOncrete and the San Diego Port have signed a three-year pilot project to test the company's innovative award-winning COASTALOCK Tide Pool Armor on the city's Harbor Island.
The deal was approved last year by the Board of Port Commissioners as part of the port's Blue Economy Incubator, dedicated to helping launch blue technology ventures related to the port.
The project aims to provide Harbor Island with environmentally sensitive edge protection through the use of the first-ever COASTALOCK installation, giving the island's shoreline 72 interlocking armor units that require minimal maintenance, with evaluations taking place every six months. This will test if it can serve as a replacement for riprap, a man-made wall of rocks meant to protect shorelines against erosion and flooding.
Currently, Harbor Island's shoreline is protected by a traditional riprap rock mound. The cost of this is that the shoreline itself has very little in the way of habitat value. Using a new innovative means of shore protection like the COASTALOCK could serve as a means of protecting against flooding and erosion while also creating a safe and ecologically friendly environment to allow for marine life to thrive.
As explained in a statement by the Board of Port Commissioners' Rafael Castellanos, the technology works "by mimicking natural rock pools with beautiful water-retaining features." This essentially results in the creation of man-made tide pools that can, in theory, be able to host marine life.
The COASTALOCK technology has been in development for years as a means of efficiently protecting against erosion and storms while preserving marine habitats on shorelines. In 2019, Time Magazine selected it as one of the year's 100 best inventions.
The pilot project “is proving that the coastal and marine construction industry can achieve two goals at once: Any concrete infrastructure going into the water can perform structurally and be good for ecosystems,” ECOncrete co-founder and CEO Dr. Shimrit Perkol-Finkel said in a statement.
“COASTALOCK is a fully load bearing, durable solution that changes the form and function of our developed coastlines - making them stronger, able to store carbon, while rejuvenating the precious coastal ecosystems, and inviting the local community to engage with their waterfront.”
This is the first of several large-scale projects ECOncrete secured, with others expected to be announced soon.